Srinagar, Aug 5 (IANS): The fight against unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir has remained a major concern for 70 years. In the absence of a private sector, people would do anything to get a prestigious government job as it was seen as a guarantee of a secure future.
But getting a government job in the former J&K state was not so easy for an ordinary man as it was a privilege reserved for influential people. Recruitment processes were not so transparent. Applicants who carried either recommendation were preferred over deserving aspirants. costume parties until 2019 were the norm in the Himalayan region.
In October 2018, then-J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik exposed a big J&K Bank scam. He revealed that 528 selected candidates had been replaced by political appointments under the regime led by the People’s Democratic Party.
In an interview with a national news channel, Malik said about 40 young candidates approached him saying they had passed all the exams and were on the J&K Bank selection list but had been replaced by relatives and employees of politicians.
“When I raised the matter with the President of JK Bank, he informed not only 40 but all 582 candidates recruited by the bank were replaced by the political appointments recommended by the leaders of different constituencies,” Malik had said. .
He had said that many people had deposited RTIs to get their papers and check the score, but the Bank refused saying they fell outside the scope of the Right to Information Act.
The Khadi Village Industries Board (KVIB) recruitment scam during Mehbooba Mufti’s tenure had left the former J&K chief minister embarrassed as his cousin Aroot Madni was appointed chief executive of KVIB, allegedly through a backdoor. The KVIB shortlist was canceled in 2019.
Last month, when reporters asked J&K’s chief secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, about the employment scenario at J&K, he said that “there was a misperception that there is no had no jobs in the territory of the Union”.
“Let me tell you that the J&K government gave away the most civilian jobs in its history last year. The jobs are there but they are not on the market for sale,” he said.
Recently J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha canceled the recruitment of sub-inspectors into the J&K Police after some aspirants alleged the process was not conducted fairly. The candidate’s complaint was dealt with quickly and a commission of inquiry was set up. The panel highlighted discrepancies in the selection process. Wasting no time, LG Sinha canceled the list and clarified that no one would be selected through a backdoor.
29,806 provided government jobs
During the current parliamentary session, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed the House that from August 2019 to June 2022, 29,806 aspirants were recruited into the J&K government and nearly 5.2 lakh jobs have been created through self-employment schemes.
Even today, J&K’s prestigious government jobs are the most preferred career choice. Whenever vacancies are advertised, thousands of aspirants fill in the application forms. But after the repeal of Section 370, a big change happened in the Himalayan region, jobs are provided on the basis of merit and not on recommendations. Anyone who meets the criteria and qualifies for the written exam, interview achieves the feat of being employed by the government.
The young people of J&K have realized that the government cannot employ everyone and that they have to fight for their livelihood. Over the past three years, the government has set up numerous self-employment programs to help young people start their own business.
The “Mumkin” (Generation of Livelihoods) program helped unemployed young people to procure small utility vehicles, on a subsidized basis, to establish a sustainable livelihood line in the transport sector. As a special incentive under this scheme, the government has paid Rs 0.80 lakh or 10% of the vehicle’s on-road price (whichever is the minimum) per beneficiary and an equivalent amount is paid by car manufacturers. The discretion to choose the type of vehicle is left to the young people according to the guidelines of the program.
The “Spurring Entrepreneurship Initiative” program is based on the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YouWiN) / Champion for Innovation program to encourage young entrepreneurs, especially young women, to innovate in various businesses. The general objective of the program is to provide financial assistance to young people for the creation of their business units.
The “Tejaswani” (Radiant) program aims to promote entrepreneurship among young women. It plans to provide financial assistance of up to Rs 5 lakh to young women to set up paid self-employment businesses suited to their skills, training, abilities and local conditions. Financial aid is given to women between the ages of 18 and 35 with qualifications at Level 10 or above.
Another program “Sahyta” has been rolled out to offer a special financial assistance program to young people in distress. Financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh can be provided under the Distressed Youth Scheme for establishing paid self-employment units. For the purposes of this program, the term “youth in distress” refers to any person between the ages of 18 and 40 who has lost a close relative/family member in an insurgency-related action, cross-border bombing or military incident. mine explosion in Jammu and Kashmir. and shall include any person who or a member of their family has suffered a permanent disability in such incidents.
The “Young Innovators Programme” aims to explore new ideas leading to the creation of a new product, process or service. It is not just the invention of a new idea that is important. It’s really about “bringing it to market”, putting it into practice and exploiting it in a way that leads to new products, services or systems that add value or improve quality.
This program aims to enhance the learning and development of young people through a range of non-formal learning activities with a focus on experimentation and innovation from pioneers in education, entrepreneurship, l art, research and cross-sectoral partnerships.
Within the framework of a specific sectoral scheme for dental professionals, personalized financial support is provided to dentists for the establishment of dental clinics. An amount of 8 lakh is provided as financial assistance under this scheme for setting up their business.
Another program “Rise Together” envisions promoting community entrepreneurship in an optimal way to generate employment and income and promote the spirit of social service among young new generation entrepreneurs in the Himalayan region. Under this scheme, eligible youth groups receive financial assistance in the amount of Rs 20 lakh comprising an initial grant component of at least Rs 2.5 lakh or 10% of the project cost and a loan provided by the Bank, 70% of the project cost to the extent of Rs 17.50 lakh.
To bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower and create a strong environment for professional and technical skills development in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has engaged leading organizations plan such as ICICI Foundation, Tata Technologies Ltd, Primal Foundation, Wipro, etc., to work on improving the skills of young people in sectors with high employability potential such as banking and financial services, digital marketing, media management, etc.
Azadi propaganda breakthrough
After August 5, 2019, when the Center announced its decision to repeal J&K’s special status and split the former princely state into two union territories, things changed quickly for young people. They had the opportunity to shape their careers and fight for a better life. A massive awareness campaign on government programs aimed at shaping the careers of young people led to many young people coming forward to take up the opportunities offered to them. Using the energies of youth for positive things broke through the “Azadi” propaganda.
The youth of “Naya J&K” – whose foundations were laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah three years ago – have rejected ideas of separatism and sedition. They shun the labels of stone throwers and peddlers of violence and have climbed aboard the wagon of peace, prosperity and development, leaving Pakistan and the terrorists sponsored by it exasperated.
New Delhi reached out to the youth of J&K without involving any power brokers and in three years achieved phenomenal success in its mission of empowering an ordinary man in J&K. He is offered government jobs as well as opportunities to start his own business. The gap that had existed for seven decades between a common Kashmiri and New Delhi has been filled in ‘Naya J&K’.